Pera Müzesi

Photo by: Free smyrnan, CC

Pera Müzesi is a private museum and art gallery that is in Istanbul, Turkey. The Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation opened it in 2005. The museum’s collection is located in the 1893 Bristol Hotel which is in the historical area of the Beyoglu district. The building was designed by Achille Manoussos, an Ottoman Greek architect.

The Main Collection

This museum displays three different permanent collections which include the Kütahya tiles and ceramics, Orientalist Art and Anatolian Weights and Measures. The Orientalist artwork collection contains over three hundred works of art, which includes work by many different European artists that were inspired by the Ottoman era. Work done by Osman Hamdi Bey can be found in the Oriental collection. He was a very prominent artist and one of his most famous pieces is The Tortoise Trainer.

Other Features

Along with exhibitions, Pera Müzesi has a diverse array of cultural events. Their facilities consist of a multi-purpose exhibition space, auditorium, and also a visitor’s activity area. The first floor of the museum has two permanent collections. The first being the Kütahya faience which consists of colored pottery and tiles. The second is the Anatolian weights and measures display which shows different scales and balances in copper, brass, steel, iron and other kinds of materials. The first floor also has the Perakende Artshop and Cafe, an auditorium and the lobby.

The second floor has the Sevgi-Erdogan Gonul Gallery. The “Portraits of the Empire” can be found on the floor and it exhibits many portraits of princes, sultans, Ottoman family members and men and women from everyday life during the Ottoman Empire. The third floor display exhibitions of Orientalist paintings from seventeenth to nineteenth century artists from the Kiraç and Gönül art collections. It also has a children’s center that is located in the basement. The other floors are used for various temporary exhibitions.

All of Pera Müzesi’s exhibits are accompanied by audio-visuals, books, catalogs, and education programs. It has many seasonal events and programs, and one popular one is the Pera Film exhibition. It offers film buffs and other visitors a wide variety of different screenings that range from classic and independent films to all kinds of documentaries and animated films. There are also special shows that parallel with the themes from the museum’s temporary exhibitions.

Additionally, the museum functions as an all-round cultural center. It has many versatile exhibit spaces and activity areas. Besides film festivals and documentary screenings, the museum has play readings and special museum nights. The museum has continued to develop over the past few years and now it is a top rated cultural center that is located in a very lively area of Istanbul.

Future Facilities

The Foundation has commissioned Frank Gehry to create a new cultural center that will face the Pera Museum and also the Hotel Pera Palace. The proposed complex will be called the Suna Kiraç Cultural Center. The center is still being developed and construction will most likely start once the city’s regulatory departments have approved the plans.

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